Skip to main content

Tiong ANG


Tiong Ang was born in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 1961 but was educated in the Netherlands where he has lived and practised almost his entire life. Ang studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (from which he graduated in 1986) and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (State Academy of Fine Arts) in Amsterdam (graduating in 1990). At first, his practice was mainly painting-based and centred around the concepts of sight and vision in their widest possible definitions. Early works consisted of portraits of individuals experiencing one or other form of sightlessness: forced ocular surgery, post-mortem examination, blindness. Most of the illustrations were structured like opened books, with a perceptible fold in the middle, adding materiality and texture to their ‘reading’. In spite of their sombreimagery, the paintings avoid being macabre or shocking, erring instead on the side of unsettling mystery.

The use of various forms of veils is also recurrent in Ang’s early work. This added transparent layer slows the spectator’s gaze, protects the image, focuses its perception. Our attention is manipulated into being heightened.

The eyes, the windows to the soul, are a symbol of sight in the sense of perception, the formative view of the world around us. The idea of being blinded progressively mutates from its literal inclusion into more subtle incarnations, in particular media oversaturation. With this transition, Ang addresses less personal and more social concerns about vision, objective and subjective, individual and plural. This thematic switch is accompanied by a technical evolution. Photography, video, installation and performance are added to the artist’s repertoire, echoing the idea of overstimulation. His practice across these mediums centres on the social, emotional and existential consequences and negotiation of dislocation, disparate identities and the dispersion of imagery.

The impact of mass and digital media on individual perspectives and the collective memory are recurring themes, as are the anxieties evoked by mobility and globalisation. The common thread in the work is the conflict between detached objectivity and engaged subjectivity; it demonstrates how universal media not only affect our perceptions of places and events, but also shape our concept of reality. Perspectives change, shift and invert, the director becomes a voyeur, the observer becomes a participant, roles are played with and role-playing is manufactured in a constant rearrangement of the real.

Aplūkot kolekciju

Pagal geografinę vietą